Along with Mrs Pieman and Georgio Dragonslayer we went last night to Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester for a solo acoustic concert by Jon Anderson, best known as a singer with "Yes" and "Jon & Vangelis".
The venue was a first for for us and it was excellent, a self contained theatre within a building? The theatre is in the round style with 3 levels and sits within the main domed concourse of the former exchange building quite beautiful, large but intimate, we like it. Staff are helpful, facilities good, seats slightly awkward to get into (? raised with foot rests and a bar to rest on) but very comfortable and all with a good view.
For this performance the light show is on or off, which is no bad thing as all is concentrated on the music and words coming from the talented Mr Anderson. He is an interesting and an unassuming joy to listen to. He is quite comfortable with the audience and the venue setting. It makes for a relaxed and very enjoyable ramble through his extensive back catalogue interspersed with some interesting background stories.
He swaps easily between guitar, dulcimer, ukelele and keyboards throughout the evening with stripped down versions of many well known tracks.His voice is good, strong and consistent throughout.
He played a wide variety of tracks and sometimes snippets but included we think with possible omissions Yours is no Disgrace, Sweet dreams, America (Simon & Garfunkel), Time and a Word, One Love (Marley), Under heavens door, Flight of the Moorglade, I'll Find my way Home, Going For the One (See Mrs Pie), Starship Trooper, Give Love Each Day, Long Distance Runaround; Owner of the Lonely Heart, Close to the Edge; Heart of the Sunrise, Marry Me Again, and The Revealing Science of God,You Got the Light, And You and I, Ritual (Nous Sommes du Soliel), Tony and Me, Give Peace a Chance (Lennon), I’ve Seen All Good People, Roundabout, A Day in the Life (Beatles), Sun is Calling, State of Independence, Wonderous Stories and Soon.
The covers are interesting and with the obvious admiration/enthusiasm of the player they work well. It also seemed appropriate that someone from Accrington should sing a song (and playing a ukelele) about "four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire".
The only downside of the night was the mini Ginsters Pork & Pickle Pie (2/10) consumed on the way home which was a mistake. A turgid brick of an offering with pickle. I should have read the wrapping better as I have yet to really appreciate a pork pie with pickle within it, rather than with it which is different altogether.